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Emotional Rescue: Praise for Sea Victory Could Presage Carnage
#1
Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:

Quote:<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>



Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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#2
So we've skipped the halls of Montezuma and done directly to the shores of Tripoli.

Looks like it's Golden Oldies Week on WNWO radio.
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#3
Peter Presland Wrote:Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:

Quote:<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>




I don't understand the criticism of the US Navy in this case. They took the appropriate action under the circumstances to prevent a hostage execution. The US Navy didn't have any control over the skin color of the pirates.
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#4
There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. One of the 'pirates' interviewed was very clear about the power relations in the area. Basically, foreigners have come and taken all the fish, dumped toxic waste in the area, laid waste to the land and destroyed the country so they have no qualms about stopping the shipping and getting ransoms or taxes as they are seen by the 'pirates'. This money goes to the community not the individual 'pirates' and in fact one could almost say it is the economy there for the most part. All of them would give it up tomorrow if they could and be simple fishermen which is all they ever wanted to be. No one is taking responsibility for the disappearance of the fish and destruction of the environment and community. Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/artic...?id=793845

Reporter: Liam Bartlett
Producer: Howard Sacre and Paul Steindl
Often the best, most exciting, stories are the ones that seem impossible.
You wonder, how on earth are we going to tell this one? For instance, how do you approach a gang of pirates, terrorising shipping on the high seas?
With extreme caution and a posse of armed guards, for a start. These modern-day buccaneers have made a business out of hijacking cargo ships and tankers, holding the crews to ransom.
And we're talking millions and millions of dollars, cash.
They operate from a desolate, lawless place where all foreigners are fair game for kidnappers. So lawless, that even Prime Minister Rudd warned us not to go there.
PICTURE GALLERY: The Pirate Coast
Full transcript:

LIAM BARTLETT: We've come to the treacherous east coast of Africa to meet some of the world's most wanted men. These are the pirates of Somalia, holding the world's shipping industry to ransom. We're off the coast of Somalia, the Red Sea and Suez Canal are up there, the Indian Ocean down that way. It's the busiest shipping lane in the world. More than 20,000 ships go past here every year, that's more than 50 ships a day. For these pirates, it's a smorgasbord of untold riches. Running the gauntlet with a pirate crew is a risky business. These waters are now heaving with navy ships - an international anti-piracy force bristling with fire-power. And they mean business. It's little wonder because, believe it or not, this rag-tag bunch in their tiny tinnies have already hijacked a fleet of ships. The pirate king, Indianda, and his motley crew have made a fortune holding a gun to the head of some of the richest maritime companies in the world. You've got seven ships, what did you get for the first one?
INDIANDA: $2 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: How much did you make for number two?
INDIANDA: About $1.6 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: Ship number three?
INDIANDA: The third ship, $2 million.
LIAM BARTLETT: Altogether, the seven ships earned the tidy sum of US$12.6 million. You're making riches beyond belief, really you're just a crook aren't you?
INDIANDA
TRANSLATION: I want to answer this question. The money we collect from the ships is not an income that goes into the pockets of one person. A lot of people, a lot of human beings survive on this money along the shores of Puntland.
LIAM BARTLETT: Puntland, in Northern Somalia, has become the modern-day pirates lair and just as hidden away. To get here, an old Russian plane flies us east from Djibouti, across the top of Africa, to a tiny, forlorn port called Bossasso. This is a no-go zone for Westerners. just like the passing ships, we run the very real risk of kidnap, so we've hired 15 local militia to guard us. Even so, the Australian Government, including the Prime Minister himself, pleaded with us to cancel our trip. This is one of the reasons why PM Rudd didn't want us to come here. Survival is all about how many guns you've got. But the other reasons - just take a look around you. These people have absolutely nothing and the idea of becoming a pirate and earning millions is very attractive indeed. The archaic port of Bossasso is a tiny speck beside the shipping superhighway of the world. The Gulf of Aden was once a fishermen's paradise, Africa's leading source of crayfish. But the locals say their seas were raided by foreign trawlers. So Indianda says now the fishermen catch big ships instead.
INDIANDA: We do it because foreigners looted our oceans. The trawlers sucked out every fish like a vacuum cleaner. We don't care whether we live or die because there is nothing left to live for. If the first man falls, we send up another man.
LIAM BARTLETT: How do you climb up the ship?
TRANSLATION: We use a ladder, like a hook. We don't harm the ships, we collect taxes from them.
LIAM BARTLETT: These men see themselves as Robin Hoods of the high seas, fighting for justice. And they've become very good at it. You have such a tiny boat, you're in a very big sea. How on earth can you catch a supertanker?
INDIANDA
TRANSLATION: We approach from behind the ship while it's cruising. We target the anchor, the hole where the anchor comes out, and throw a rope with a hook on the end. And then we climb up. We use tactics that you won't understand, but let me say, when someone is hungry, he is capable of doing anything.
LIAM BARTLETT: What sort of ransoms are being demanded?
NEIL ROBERTS: Anything up to $20- $30 million is the first demand.
LIAM BARTLETT: Why are they being paid? Why are people rolling over?
NEIL ROBERTS: If you simply refuse to pay, I mean the pirates have a lot of hostages. The consequences of those being shot, for instance, would be unimaginable.
LIAM BARTLETT: It is costing the shipping industry a fortune. Most of that money comes from the insurer - Lloyds of London. Neil Roberts said the pirates demand ransoms in cash before they release a ship and its crew.
NEIL ROBERTS: Sometimes it gets parachuted in. More likely it's delivered by a small boat. This is a big pile of money, it's going to be heavy. As we saw when it sank one of their launches a couple of months ago.
LIAM BARTLETT: Did, did they recover the money?
NEIL ROBERTS: Ah, well, some of it was recovered on a body that arrived on the beach with about a $150,000 on it and some of it went down obviously.
LIAM BARTLETT: Somalia has been wracked by bitter civil war for nearly two decades. The film, 'Black Hawk Down' told how feudal warlords drove out the American Army in 1993 and there's been a lot of killing and dying ever since. Lawlessness, helplessness and extreme poverty are a way of life. The local police station is filled with petty thieves struggling to survive. This boy looked barely 15. Piracy now drives the economy - 60 hijacks last year netted some $50 million in ransoms. Do you ever feel sorry for the owners of the ships that you hijack?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: We know we have committed an offence, but when you lose your livelihood you have nowhere to complain, nowhere to take your case to.
LIAM BARTLETT: So the pirates took the law into their own hands and even the full force of the world's navies has so far failed to stop them. The international naval armada trying to catch the pirates off the coast here doe have some help. Turns out, Puntland has a coastguard and I've been invited here down to the wharf to have a look. Let's go and see what they've got. It turns out the coastguard consists of a dinghy, a patrol boat with ancient weaponry that's seen better days and this second-hand vessel purchased from the Japanese coastguard. They've been fired on by pirates and even captured a few. Trouble is, most days, it stays tied up at the wharf. How many times can you go out per week?
MOHAMMED ABDAWALLI: Actually, we go a month, twice, patrolling the area.
LIAM BARTLETT: Twice a month, that's all the Government can afford?
MOHAMMED ABDAWALLI: That's all so far we can afford.
LIAM BARTLETT: Today we set out to check on a suspicious fishing boat. If they are pirates, they've ditched their weapons overboard and with no evidence the coastguard captain lets them go free. But further off shore, the international taskforce tells us they've caught a pirate boat red-handed. Trouble is - what to do with them? Most are simply handed straight back to Puntland into a barely functioning legal system. Here, they join 300 pirates bursting the seams of local jails. That night the Police Commissioner proudly introduced me to the latest batch, accused of trying to hijack an Indian ship. Are you all pirates?
PRISONER: No. We are fishers.
LIAM BARTLETT: You're fishers, why are you under arrest? They say you are all pirates?
PRISONER: No, we are not pirates.
LIAM BARTLETT: Have you ever been a pirate?
PRISONER: No.
LIAM BARTLETT: Well, they say you are all pirates. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, pirates?
PRISONER: No, we are not pirates. Whoever said we are pirates is a foolish man.
LIAM BARTLETT: Sir, that's why you are in jail, you have got chains on your leg. Because you have been arrested as a pirate. You tossed your guns overboard, did you?
PRISONER: No. We have not any guns.
LIAM BARTLETT: You were looking for an Indian ship to hijack it.
PRISONER: No. No.
LIAM BARTLETT: And this is Puntland's problem. With no proof, no evidence, even the Police Commissioner can't tell me what will happen to these men. Do you think they are pirates?
POLICE COMMISSIONER: We don't know. The Americans catch them and they say they're pirates, but we don't know what they are.
LIAM BARTLETT: If these pirates were bank robbers, if they were stealing the same amount of money from the Bank of England, they would either have been shot or thrown into jail by now, wouldn't they.
NEIL ROBERTS: You would hope so. Certainly if they were in England you would be able to prosecute them properly.
LIAM BARTLETT: So even if you catch these people...
NEIL ROBERTS: There's not much you can do.
LIAM BARTLETT: Somalia needn't have imploded like this. Beneath the desert there's said to be an ocean of oil, just waiting to be exploited. Local businessman, Liban Bogor dreams of the day when foreign investors feel secure enough to come and share the riches. But let's face it, while the warlords tear each other apart, who'd want to take the risk? It doesn't look particularly safe here if you don't mind me saying with all these weapons, but you assure me I am. LIBAN BOGOR: We, we are very, we are very safe here. The the weapons, I mean I, I think I've seen lately there was a surge in, pirates and kidnapping but it's a lot more peaceful than a lot of places. regardless of the...all the guns that we're seeing today.
LIAM BARTLETT: But still, we were told not to set foot anywhere here without armed guards. And, right now, the most lucrative business in this dirt-poor town is holding ships and people for ransom. How do you make it less attractive, though, for the pirates not to take up arms when they're coming from such poverty? LIBAN BOGOR: Ah, we...that's what were trying to do, but that's why we want to have foreign investment, that's why we want to create employment for the pirates. Nobody wants to do something illegal, if they can have an alternative. We have to create the alternative for them.
LIAM BARTLETT: Even Indianda, says he'd give up the pirate's life tomorrow if he could see a better future. If the international community made sure your waters were OK for fishing, would you go back to fishing.
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: Yes, that would be OK.
LIAM BARTLETT: Yes?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: Yes, that's right.
LIAM BARTLETT: So you don't really want to be a pirate?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: First we must see if we can trust them. The thing is we must see them stop and the oceans are secure.
LIAM BARTLETT: But you would prefer not to be a pirate?
INDIANDA TRANSLATION: I've been forced by the situation to become a pirate. I never wanted to become a pirate.
LIAM BARTLETT: But when he dropped us back at the beach, Indianda was set to head straight back out, willing to risk everything and stop at nothing.
INDIANDA: We made the decision to take the high risks and capture the ships. Even if we die, we won't stop until something is done to stop them and to help us.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
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#5
Magda Hassan Wrote:There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. ...Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/artic...?id=793845
...

Ok, that's exactly the back story I've been wanting. I would not expect it to be reported in the US media. Thanks Maggie.
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#6
Magda Hassan Wrote:There was an unusually excellent report on the Australian 60 Minutes, of all programmes, about the pirates recently. Transcript of the show below. ...Video here: http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/artic...?id=793845
...

That's a good and interesting segment alright. And there seem to be larger issues that need to be addressed about the fishing problem, and certainly the poverty. But given the individual circumstance the US Navy found themselves in, with a hostage in danger and the chance to take the pirates out with sniper fire (which the US gov't is very experienced at...), I think they took appropriate steps.
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#7
Further to Magda's post here is another article - from Johann Hari (he of 'The Dark Side of Dubai posted yesterday) published in The Independent in January this year. All this stuff is worth keeping in mind whenever the 'Somali Pirates' issue is in the news.

Was the US Navy was right or wrong in the particular circumstances? I don't think we are in any position to judge. As for getting caught up in the hero-worship - you can count me out. The Navy has it's story and it is being used for all it's worth to pump up Obama as the hero C-in-C (natch); OTOH so do the pirates. I find the telephone calls to relatives report saying they were out of ammo and trying to exchange their freedom for hostage release to be credible. I also find it totally INcredible that they were indeed 'about to shoot the hostage' since that would have resulted in swift and certain death. The balance of probability for me lies with the Navy having decided at the outset to manoeuvre to a position where they could be pretty certain of killing all three pirates near simultaneously regardless - and that's exactly what they did. Professional? - yes. Heroic? - hardly. The pirates will certainly have learned a lesson, but probably not quite the simplistic 'don't mess with Uncle SAM' one claimed. As is usually the case when the US military start teaching people lessons, this is probably the precursor to a lot of innocent lives being lost. Somalia is now officially designated a 'Free-Fire zone' as of a couple of months ago (if memory serves). So what are the chances that we will soon see NATO ground-forces engaged in 'guns blazing hot pursuit' actions in the Horn of Africa after this? (surreal isn't it 'North Atlantic' defence forces operating in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa)

Sorry if all that sounds anti-US. It's not meant to. In any event my view of all the major powers is similarly jaundiced.
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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#8
Myra Bronstein Wrote:
Peter Presland Wrote:Long article from Chris Floyd at URUKNET on the rescue of the Captain of the Maersk Alabama, Richard Phillips. Some thoughts you won't see aired anywhere in the MSM but which certainly need airing:

Quote:<Snip>..... And so the incident ended as it was surely destined to. The moment I heard that an American ship had been raided by Somali pirates, I knew that someone would have to die for it; nowadays, American leaders -- and broad swathes of the public -- demand blood for the slightest perceived outrage against the nation's dignity. And once a hostage was taken -- by a bunch of rag-tag, Muslim darkies, no less -- a fatal ending was assured.......<Endsnip>




I don't understand the criticism of the US Navy in this case. They took the appropriate action under the circumstances to prevent a hostage execution. The US Navy didn't have any control over the skin color of the pirates.

The problem is their Rambo attitude and actions [guns-a-blazin] rather than using some strategy and thought. I'll be they could have gone with a minisub or frogmen, put a hole in the pitrates boat and when it sank captured alive the pirates and saved the hostage. But they perfer the movie-style shoot-out and people will get killed.

BTW, Very interesting history of the WHY for the piracy - and as with most we are told, it is not what you think and not what we are told [i.e. not true or not the full story]. Here is more of the real story - interesting!
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#9
Pace Charles' post (#2) to this thread, this article by William Pfaff provides further food for thought:

Quote: <Snip>
Somalian piracy is a nasty little affair in which hundreds of foreign seafarers have been made prisoner, but the only ones who have died did so during efforts to rescue them.
But things are getting out of hand. The pirates now threaten revenge. They haven’t killed anybody. At this writing, they hold some 200 hostages. As Obama indicated, half the NATO navies seem on the way to chase fishing boats in Somalian waters and the Gulf of Aden.
Quoting the encyclopedias on Barbary pirates and U.S. Marine Corps lore about the Tripolitan War makes good newspaper stories. But the Marines, and the Tripoli war’s settlement in 1805, did not put an end to piracy on the Mediterranean Barbary Coast; American commerce was being raided as late as 1815. Maybe somebody should tell the president about that.
<Endsnip>
Peter Presland

".....there is something far worse than Nazism, and that is the hubris of the Anglo-American fraternities, whose routine is to incite indigenous monsters to war, and steer the pandemonium to further their imperial aims"
Guido Preparata. Preface to 'Conjuring Hitler'[size=12][size=12]
"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied"
Claud Cockburn

[/SIZE][/SIZE]
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#10
W has checked in on this.

He's urging Obama to invade Pittsburgh.
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